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A preliminary economic assessment of agricultural land degradation in Atlantic and Central Canada and Southern British Columbia

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Title: A preliminary economic assessment of agricultural land degradation in Atlantic and Central Canada and Southern British Columbia
Author: Fox, M. G.; Coote, D. R.; Dumanski, J.; Hamilton, D.; Huffman, E.; Lok, C.; Shields, J. A.; Switzer-Howse, K. D.; van Vliet, L. J. P.
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to make preliminary estimates of the on-farm and off-farm costs of agricultural land degradation in Atlantic and Central Canada, and British Columbia excluding the Peace Region. The types of degradation examined are water erosion, wind erosion, acidity and soil compaction. The main costs which are estimated are the values of crop yield reductions, added inputs (fertilizers, pesticides, etc.) required to offset physical losses, and reduced crop quality. An attempt is also made to quantify the off- farm damage from agricultural land degradation in the study area. The study was carried out in two parts. The first consisted of a procedure to estimate the location, area and severity of erosion, acidification and compaction within 16 subregions of the study area. Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island were each treated as separate subregions. Two subregions were created for New Brunswick , three each for Quebec and British Columbia, and five for Ontario. A large electronic data base of physical soil characteristics and land use in the study area was compiled to which standard 'models' of the degradation processes, expected to be operative in the study area, were applied. This exercise yielded the likely extent, location and severity of degradation in the subregions. The second part consisted of estimating crop yield reductions and other economic costs of soil degradation under each type and class of degradation in each subregion. These estimates were obtained by analysing the opinions of a select group of experts in the provinces covered by the study. Questionnaires, group consensus meetings and telephone follow-ups were employed.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/15105
Date: 1986
Rights: In Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Permitted
Rights Holder: Agriculture Canada


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